The Tree That Ate Everything: A Children's Book for Down Syndrome Families

Reviewed by Kirkus!

Review Summary

"A tale with an appealing message of inclusion, inspired by the author’s own experiences as a father."

"Two close twin brothers unexpectedly share their birthday with a lively tree in this debut picture book."

Full Review

"“Jake has Down syndrome. Austin does not.” In Feiner’s subtle story (based on his own sons), 8-year-old Jake’s

condition is part of who he is, just as his twin brother’s penchant for talking “a lot” defines Austin. It’s the brothers’

birthday, and their presents reflect their individual interests: Austin’s gift is a toy airplane; Jake’s is a ball. When the

twins go to a grassy field to play with their new toys, Austin’s plane gets stuck in a tree and he and Jake try throwing the

ball to dislodge it. The ball catches in the branches, too, and when nearby children come to the twins’ aid, the result is a

treed lacrosse stick and player. The characters...can’t see what readers spot thanks to debut illustrator

Hagen’s full-page, sunny, and tender watercolor images: a smiling, anthropomorphic tree who thinks it’s all a game to

celebrate her own birthday. (The tree’s childlike enjoyment of the proceedings remains disarmingly relatable.) When

Dad arrives, the tree happily relinquishes her haul, and the brothers leave side by side, ready for more escapades. This

adventure is mild indeed, but its heart is movingly clear. Weaving in Austin’s and Dad’s positive acknowledgments of

Jake’s suggestions to help, Feiner provides a gentle, between-the-lines theme of love and acceptance that resonates


Testimonials from Amazon Readers!

"I highly recommend this book. I have read it and bought multiples of it as gifts for my nieces and nephews...."

"This is a fantastic book - with a GREAT message..."

"...I like that everyone in the book helps each other. Good for young ones to read."


The Tree That Ate Everything

A Unique Children's Book

 Illustrated by Gina Hagen. Jake and Austin are twins. Jake has Down syndrome while Austin is typical. On their birthday, they play with their toys but a whimsical tree wants to play too. It also happens to be her birthday. 

About Bob Feiner

 Bob Feiner has been in the technology industry for nearly twenty years More importantly, he is the father of twin boys, Austin and Jake. Austin is typical and Jake has Down syndrome. Bob was the 2015 recipient of the Disability Matters National Disability Champion award. 

All Proceeds Benefit Down Syndrome Charities

Filled with bright whimsical colors and characters. A children's book about team work for children of all abilities.  All proceeds benefit Down syndrome charities.


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The Tree That Ate Everything